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08 December
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HistoryPodcast 36 – Ottoman Empire: A Brief History

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The Ottoman Empire was an imperial power, centered around the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, that existed from 1299 to 1922. At the height of its power in the 16th century, it included Anatolia, the Middle East, parts of North Africa, much of south-eastern Europe to the Caucasus in the north. It comprised an area of about 19.9 million km², though much of this was under indirect control of the central government. The Empire was situated in the middle of East and West, and interacted throughout its six-century history with both the East and the West.

HistoryPodcast 36 – Ottoman Empire: A Brief History.mp3 8:17 – 7.77MB

Related Links:

The Ottomans – A great resource about the Ottomans.

The Young Turks: Proclamation for the Ottoman Empire

A 1300 Year Struggle for Control of Resources

BBC’s: Religion & Ethics: Islam

All Empires: The Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Genocide

Why the crescent and star are a symbol of Islam

Timeline of Ottoman Empire

Museum stuff

Drawings

Ottoman Women

Utah University Class

Related Books:

Constantinople — by Philip Mansel

The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600 — by Halil Inalcik

An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914 2 volume set (paperback) (Economic & Social History of the Ottoman Empire) — by Halil Inalcik, Suraiya Faroqhi, Bruce McGowan, Donald Quataert, Sevket Pamuk

Ottoman Warfare 1500-1700 — by Rhoads Murphey

The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (New Approaches to European History) — by Daniel Goffman

The End of the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1923 — by A.L. Macfie

The Great Powers and the End of the Ottoman Empire — by Marian Kent (Editor)

Suleyman the Magnificent and His Age : The Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern World — by I. Metin Kunt

The Well-Protected Domains : Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire, 1876-1909 — by Selim Deringil

The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922 (New Approaches to European History) — by Donald Quataert

The Ottoman Empire was an imperial power centered around the borders of the Mediterranean Sea that existed from 1281 to 1923. Although, these exact dates are debated by historians, it is generally agreed that the fall of the Byzantine Empire marks the beinging and the establishment of Turkey in 1922 marks the end. At its height, the empire consisted of Antolia (modern day turkey), the Middle East, parts of North Africa, and much of south-eastern Europe. It was founded by a tribe of Oghuz Turks (the nomadic indigenous people of central Asia) in western Antolia and governed by the Osmanli dynasty, the descendents of those Turks.

The Empire was named after Oman the first. In Arabic his name (Uthman) sounds similar to Ottoman. Osman was a prince in Bithynia who began to conquest neighboring regions and who founded the empire’s dynasty around 1300.

The initial period of the Empire from about 1300 to 1481, was one of continous expansion of territory through war, alliances, and purchase. Osman and his sucessors counqured almost all of Anatolia. Alliances with different factions of the Byzantine Empire won the Ottoman’s a foothold in Europe in1336. At Kosovo in 1389 Murad, who ruled from 1360 to 1389, defeated the Balkan allies to complete Ottoman rule of that territory.

Bayezid who ruled from 1389 to 1402 increased the strength of Ottoman rule and was awarded the title of sultan by the Caliph of Cario. The rapid advancement of the Ottoman’s made Timur the leader of Tatar stand up and take notice. So much so that he pulled out of a conquest of India to protect his western flank. It was a good decision. With his extra forces he was able to defeat an Ottoman army at Ankara in 1402.

Of Bayezid’s four sons Mehmed emerged as sultan in 1413. Under his and his sucessor rule the Empire grew strong, defeating an army at Varna in 1444. In 1453 Constaninople was obtained, and later Morea, Trebizond, Bosnia, Albania the Crimea, and other areas all fell.

To supply their armies the Ottoman’s would draft Christian youths from the Balkan’s and convert them to Islam for a lifetime of service. This system of recruitment was called devsirme. Furthermore, as decreed by Mehmed II, all members of the government and army were to accpet the status of personal slave to the sultan.

Under Selim, who regined from 1512 to 1520 expansion increased dramatcially. He defeated the Mamluks in 1516 and 1517, which doubled the size of the empire, adding to it Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Algeria. Under Selim’s son, Suleyman (1520-1566) also known as “the magnificent” in Europe, the empire enjoyed it’s golden age. He conqured Hungry, Tripoli and extended the empire southeastward through Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf. He also made the Ottoman Empire navy dominant in the eastern Mediterranean.

After Suleyman’s regin the empire started to decline. Eventhough, territorial expansion continued with Caucasus and Azerbaijan, the new sultans lacked the abilities of the predicessors. The fall of the empire is due in part to the increasing power the devsirme class and the tensions it created within the ruling class. The Ottoman industry began to erode. The number of Ottoman controlled trade routes begain to decrease.

Reforms were put in place in the 17th century, but they proved too weak. Meanwhile new powers within Europe forged alliances to drive the Ottoman’s out of the continent.

In the 18th century the empire saw the decay of rural administration into small, fuedal-like states and increased unrest in the cities, disrupting food supplies and leading to widespread famine. The empire withdrew from western styles and technologies. A revolt led by Msutafa IV in 1807 squashed Selim IInds attempt to modernize the government.

Mahumd II begain his reign in 1808 and faced desperate times. The local authorities openly opsoed the central government. In addition, the Ottoman Empire was at war with England and Russia. In the next few decades Mahumd reorganized the government and modernized the military. However, the boundries of the empire began to shrink.

Mahumd’s sons, Abdulmecid I and Abdulaziz established a series of liberal reforms called the Tazimat. In the west, these reforms were seen as an effort to encourage friendly relations with Euopean powers. Among the reforms were the first in depth education system and the westernization of commercial, martime, and penal codes.

This centralization of power removed all checks on the power of the emperor. In 1876 Abdulhamid II agreed to a constitution, the first in an Islamic country. Two years later as a result of the Treaty of San Stefano and negociations at the Congress of Berlin, the empire was forced to give up Romina, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Cypress and other territories.

Abdulhamid was able to keep the remainder of the empire together through the end of the century. Although, there were may revolts, most notably that of the Young Turks. The Balkan wars of 1912 through 1913 almost succeed in pushing the empire out of the country.

After World War I and the immediate revolution the 36th and final Ottoman emporer Mehmed VI Vahideddin was overthrown in 1922 and modern Turkey was formed.

The Ottoman Empire was an imperial power, centered around the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, that existed from 1299 to 1922. At the height of its power in the 16th century, it included Anatolia, the Middle East, parts of North Africa, much of south-eastern Europe to the Caucasus in the north. It comprised an area of about 19.9 million km², though much of this was under indirect control of the central government. The Empire was situated in the middle of East and West, and interacted throughout its six-century history with both the East and the West.

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